According to FBI statistics, the total number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty has nearly doubled between 2013 – 2014, from 27 to 51. The total reflects almost one officer per week during 2014, murdered. These statistics can also be correlated to the onslaught of mainstream media attention presented to the average citizen, demonizing the actions of America’s “Thin Blue Line”.
Although losing any lives in the line of duty is tragic, the 27 lives lost in 2013 reflected a 35 year low, and with things moving undeniably in the right direction, this new report is a definite setback for not only the law enforcement community, but for all Americans.
It seems that in 2014, the downward trend in killings took a very sudden uptick, with the numbers jumping back to the highest number since 2011. What seems to be the glaring factor in this sudden uptrend in the statistics, is the irresponsible reporting by mainstream media in their attempted character assassination of our law enforcement community. The onslaught of non-stop attention. painting the law enforcement community as “hypermilitarized racist occupiers on the hunt for black men” needs to stop.
These seeds of hate seem to have been planted as early as 2009, when President Obama publicly castigated a white police officer for arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. Obama stated that he was uncertain as to “what” actually transpired, but went on to say;
“But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 … that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
The arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley wrote in the Cambridge police report that Gates refused to step outside to speak with him, and when Crowley told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, “Why, because I’m a black man in America?”
“While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me,” Crowley stated in the report. The report also stated that Gates was arrested for “loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space” and was released from police custody after spending four hours at the police station.
Anyone in America remembers the 2012 George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting, where Zimmerman professed self-defense and was later acquitted of any wrong doing, but before the facts could be weighed, the flames of racial tensions were incredulously fanned by President Obama and Al Sharpton, along with an obliging media. They all had Zimmerman, who is in fact Hispanic, pegged as a white, racially motivated killer before the man even went to trial, and in turn continued to perpetrate the law enforcement bias by suggesting that a racist police force had no interest in properly investigating a black man’s murder.
The media continued to hound Zimmerman for over a year, including the fabrication of evidence against him, and by extension the investigators who “overlooked” it. We can see the results of a properly conducted investigation and trial, with 20/20 vision now, as we now know that Zimmerman was NOT a white man, the forensic science indeed backed his self-defense claim, a Justice Department investigation found no evidence to confirm that the shooting was racially motivated, and even the media innuendoes that Zimmerman was friends with the Sanford Police department was later found untrue.
And yet, even though every Mainstream media narrative that painted Zimmerman in a negative manner was a lie, they still made it possible to bring racism into the forefront, and make people believe that law enforcement is targeting and persecuting blacks with racial profiling. Including CNN;
The Mainstream Media pot stirring has been ongoing since 2009, with efforts ramped up between 2012/2013 as even President Obama steps up to further champions the cause, but once the Zimmerman case began to fade and viewers lost interest after his July 2013 acquittal, they found another “drum to bang” as they moved their focus toward the NYC mayoral race as de Blasio stirs the pot just hours after the Zimmerman verdict.
It seems that all of this media attention has turned America’s finest, into a bunch of “backwoods Klan members” ready to lynch every black man to the nearest tree, and the Obama administration along with a few other media allies have further perpetuated that hate. We can see what the following year brought with Ferguson, and now with Baltimore behind us, we’ve nearly doubled the number of police officers killed in the line of duty, in just one year.
I can only bring to light the events that have led up to this point. I can only point out what I may see as blatantly obvious “yellow journalistic” tactics that have been used for the last 200 years. I can only point out what I believe to be a complete and utter lack of respect for the position of Commander-in-Chief as his sole job is to help maintain order and ensure that we as Americans do not destroy ourselves from within.
I will not sit here and say that every law enforcement officer is as “honest as the day is long”, but I will not lump every police officer into one generalized category either. And as far as “fanning the flames of racism”, I believe our country has come a very long way from our sordid past. We have all done things we are not proud of, but its high time we let the bad seeds “root” themselves out, so we can grow a better garden for our future.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams